Al-Mushri calls for strengthening Turkish-Libyan relations, lifting visa requirement

President of the High Council of State (HCS) Khaled Al-Mushri met with a Turkish delegation visiting Tripoli Monday, headed by Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the Chief of Staff of Armed Forces Yasar Hawler.

Al-Mushri, whose HCS acts as the main advisor of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), called for lifting visa requirements between Libya and Turkey and resuming air links between the two countries.

He also invited Turkish companies to return to Libya, and boost cooperation on the political, economic, and military levels, according to a statement issued by the HCS.

The Turkish delegation emphasized that only Libyans can solve their country’s problems, and that Ankara is willing to help in resolving political, economic, and military issues.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s defense minister held meetings with other Libyan officials.
Akar met with Faiez Sarraj, chairperson of the Libyan Presidency Council of the GNA, and Interior Minister Fatih Ali Bashagha.

Cooperation between the two countries on defense, military, and regional security issues was discussed during the meeting.

Since Muammar Gaddafi’s ouster, Libya has spiraled into civil war between several parties competing for the power causing divisions inside the national army.

There have been two major factions on the ground since 2014; one led by Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA), who now controls the eastern side of Libya in cooperation with the Tobruk parliament. The other is led by Sarraj in Tripoli.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State (IS) and other terrorist groups took advantage of the conflict and established a foothold in the country, posing threats to Libya’s neighbors.

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